This is a lovely, wholesome story about friendship and new beginnings. Jilly O’ Hara has just begun to reap the benefits of all her hard work. She is owner of a successful restaurant, has launched an equally successful food line, and has ideas to then launch half a dozen new businesses, when she gets an alarming wake-up call. Her heart is not able to handle the stress she’s subjecting it to and she needs to make drastic changes to her life style. This is devastating to young energetic Jilly who’s never sat back and taken it easy, doesn’t really know how to. And what about her business and emerging successful brand of organic salsa’s that are sweeping the market?
Her three best friends, who are closer than sisters, stage an intervention, and on the the pretext of cooking classes, pack Jilly off to a knitting retreat at a nature resort in the Colorado mountains. Almost immediately Jilly meets up with the town’s resident war hero, Walker Hale, and his dog Winslow. It’s love at first sight between Jilly and Winslow, especially since she’s missing her own pet.
Jilly, while resistant to the idea of knitting, which is her friend’s passion, at which she’s never been good, slowly but reluctantly begins to find herself fitting into the local community. From manning the coffee shop to delivering outstanding coffee to the residents of the town to connecting with the chef at the resort, who is a fan of her food products, to finding friends amongst the knitting community at the retreat, and most important becoming great friends with the old lady who owns the resort, Jilly finds that the peace of the simple community is starting to seep into her soul and she no longer feels so alone and abandoned as she had felt being orphaned at a young age.
Walker and Winslow play a large part in Jilly’s peace. In their own way they are both damaged individuals who come together and find healing in one another. And then comes the kicker – the resort was to stage a wedding which is now cancelled. In order to breathe new life into his grandmother, the resort owner asks Jilly and Walker to stage a make-believe wedding. Caught up in all the events leading up to the wedding, suddenly it’s becoming real to both Jilly and Walker.
Of course, we can’t let the story end there and so along comes the serpent in paradise in the form of Walker’s sister. It seems he’s a member of the extremely wealthy and politically connected Hales, and his sister is convinced that Jilly is a gold digger, out to take her brother for everything he has. When Jilly overhears an acrimonious conversation between brother and sister and realizes that Walker has been keeping secrets from her, she once again feels rejected and alone and flees to the only safe haven she has had all her life – her three friends who’ve always been there for her.
This book marks the second in the Summer Island series, stories of friendship and deep abiding love. Two of Jilly’s three friends have all found love one by one with men who engage in dangerous professions keeping their country and countrymen and women safe. I have enjoyed each one of these stories. In many ways they feel like old-fashioned, feel-good romances. I can’t wait for the last two friends to find their HEAs.
What happens when life drops you in your tracks?
For high-energy chef Jilly O’Hara, relaxation is simply not an option.
She has come too far to give up all her dreams.
But life has different plans.
Somehow her worried friends trick Jilly into a mountain vacation, where she ﬁnds
herself caught up in a fake wedding with a gorgeous stranger.
Rugged ex-Marine Walker Hale prefers to be a loner, but Jilly’s quirky charm is making him reconsider. Even his wounded service dog can’t resist Jilly.
Now suddenly their wedding charade is in full swing, and their vows feel strangely real.
But what happens when their passionate vacation ends? With so much stacked against them, how can two stubborn loners ﬁnd a way to knit their lives together…and accept the healing power of love?
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: